The Government Rail Rebate

The Government Rail Rebate’s objective is to optimise the volume of containers handled through the Inner Harbour and manage road congestion in the Fremantle area.

Freight Rail Rebate

Clients who use the Intermodal Train and Intermodal Link Services are eligible to receive a rebate from the Western Australian government for using the rail network.

In 2007, the State Government introduced what is known as the Fremantle Container Subsidy that is designed to incentivise transport and logistics companies to move import/export containerised freight from road to rail and thereby reducing the number of short haul container trucks through metropolitan streets.

So far the direct rebate to customers has resulted in a reduction of more than 100,000 truck trips to and from Fremantle Port each year.

The rebate was also needed to ensure parity between road and rail transport as a result of multiple staging and handling points at the port. The below graphic explains the difference in container movements for road freight versus rail freight departing North Quay and why the rebate exists to compensate for the additional movement costs.

Am I eligible for the rebate?

The rebate is paid based on the number of containers that are transported by rail between the North Fremantle Rail Terminal (NQRT) and the Forrestfield Intermodal Terminal  (FIT) and/or the Kwinana Intermodal Terminal (KIT).

Intermodal containers that are filled with hay and are received at NQRT for international export are also eligible.

However, interstate or Kalgoorlie-based full intermodal containers transported by rail are not eligible for the rebate.

Rebate Rate per container

Rail customers receive the subsidy per twenty foot equivalent (TEU), with an eligible forty-foot equivalent unit (FEU) receiving double the rate of a TEU.

From 1 January 2018, the subsidy paid per eligible TEU is $50.

Rebate payments to clients

At Intermodal Link Services (ILS), we pass on the rebate in full to all eligible customers and the overall freight rail charges is shown as an overall cost reduction on all client invoices.

ILS is only reimbursed by the State Government retrospectively and only once we have provided proof of having moved the TEU by rail.

We undertake this by providing the Department of Transport with all eligible invoices that clearly identify

  • the number of eligible containers moved for the rail customer;
  • the rebate rate per eligible type of container (TEU/ FEU); and
  • the total rebate amount that is passed on to the rail customer.

Intermodal Link Services provides weekly invoices to the Department that when approved makes payment within four weeks.

Governance and Oversight

The State Government undertakes an annual external audit of the rebate scheme and a quarterly audit of randomly samples invoices and rail freight data to ensure the integrity of the scheme.

The Auditor General also undertakes an annual review of the scheme’s Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) in relation to meeting increases in the number and percentage of containers leaving the port by rail.

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